Equal parts anime novela and casual rhythm game, AECRNIA and Anela Games Studio’s URO has players guiding a little girl through a number of different worlds on her quest to restore color. It may look like your bog-standard music game, but this is one title that fails to hit the right notes.
Players take control of the titular Uro in this music-based title. Her world is devoid of color and sound, until she puts on a pair of headphones that turns her into a more lively creature. Throughout her journey, she travels to different-colored worlds, meeting different “Kings” and “Uros” along the way. Story is told before and after each song players choose, and is made up of text and character portraits.
It’s just a shame that this story comes across as disjointed. Typos are rampant, and proper grammar and syntax quickly prove to be unknown concepts to the development team. There is talk of signboards and a greater picture, but players will be struggling to understand what is even going on. Some parts are not even translated, featuring a flurry of hiragana, katakana, and kanji characters for players to decipher. This is not an overly verbose tale, but an editor would have been able to make some sense out of it all.
To get ahead in URO, players must clear a number of brightly colored fences. Uro will run along at a steady pace on the left-hand side of the screen, and it’s up to players to press the proper buttons to break the fence and get ahead. The Easy and Normal modes only have two types of fences to worry about, but the “Expart” and unlockable Master mode feature additional notes that must be pressed with different buttons.
This would normally follow the standards set up in your typical rhythm game, but a number of design choices take away from the game. For one, the timing of each button press is irrelevant – the window is fairly large and it can be easy to mash your way to a perfect run. There are no specific grades for each type of note hit as well – players will either hit the note or miss it. Grading is noticeably absent, with only the percentage cleared signified at the end of each run. There is a distinct lack of difficulty though – we were able to get a number of “Perfect,” 100% runs by just mashing down certain keys.
Perhaps the biggest design flaw of this game comes with how the gameplay syncs up with the music. A successful rhythm game has players hitting elements with the music, but the fences in URO sometimes do not follow the melody. As a result, players cannot trust the music to help them get ahead, and doing so will actually put players at a disadvantage. It really takes away from the game, and the only way to get past this is to either put the game on mute or train yourself improperly.
The 28 songs featured feature a number of techno tunes, packing such names as “Armor Penetrator” and “Deeper Beeper.” Players will gradually unlock the playlist through the main mode, with the entirety of the game unlocked in a short two hours.
URO is a rhythm game that can’t seem to find the beat. Removing an element of timing to the gameplay makes each song overly simplistic, and not matching some of the note charts to each song makes it a challenge to succeed.